Fez Cap

A soldier in the Ghanaian presidential guard wearing a red fez cap. Reproduced by permission of © .

The fez cap is popular among northern Africans, especially men, of various nationalities, religions, and tribal affiliations. The cap is a small, brimless, flat-topped cap that fits above the ears on the top of the head. The cap was named for the city of Fez, Morocco, and a red fez, or tarbouch, has become a national symbol of that country. By the early nineteenth century, the fez cap was also an official part of the military or national costume in Turkey and Zanzibar, now Tanzania.

Historically, the fez cap had been worn mostly by Muslims. Although still popular among men of this religion, the fez cap has also been adopted for fashionable wear by people of many other religions. Fezzes of many different colors are worn throughout northern Africa.


Blauer, Ettagale. African Elegance. New York: Rizzoli, 1999.

Kennett, Frances, and Caroline MacDonald-Haig. Ethnic Dress. New York: Facts on File, 1994.

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